, , , , , ,

Whenever  I try to do anything for myself, it backfires.

As I’ve written about before, several of the Mexican guys in my apartments play loud music at all hours of the day and night. This is a continuous disturbance. I have asked them to be quiet, they pretend to obey these requests then continue to act like they aint got no sense–weekly.

To get the guys upstairs to respect my wishes I had to call the police three times, security on multiple occasions, and get the manager involved over the course of a month. The last bunch of these guys don’t live in my building but park across from my building regularly, blasting music as early as 9AM in the morning while loitering and greasing around with their trucks and sedans. They will continue on, sometimes until 6PM in the evening. So in light of my attempts to take better care of myself, I decided to do something about it rather than sit around with ear plugs in and headphones on all day.

So this past Friday, in order to provide a record of proof to the apartment manager (who would rather creep around like wannabe-mall-security trying to catch these men doing wrong instead of listen to me–she doesn’t even live here), I started recording them playing loud music with my handy-dandy new camera, a nice gift from a friend.

Little did I know, because I happened to step outside to record these guys when some of my neighbors’ residents/guests/whoever pulled up to the apartment seconds later, my new Black neighbors decided I was recording them. Unless they’re doing something illegal, I don’t know why they’d assume that my pictures and recordings have anything to do with them. Honestly, I’ve known members of my race to be a little more honest and confrontational about stuff like this–meaning, they’ll walk right up to you and ask you about it. Not these ones. They’re conspiracy theorists.

I’ve had exactly three encounters with these Black neighbors: 1) to say hello, 2) to ask them very politely to turn their music down because it was after 10PM and I could hear it through two walls, and 3) because some kid was outside banging incessantly on the door and yelling to get in for five minutes and some other kids inside the apartment wouldn’t let him in (I politely asked him to stop and thanked him when he did).

Tonight, someone called the police on these neighbors and I heard the Black guy over there telling the cops

…that lady next door don’t like us. She takin’ pictures of us and recording us….

Something like that.

So, apparently, they assumed I called the police on them tonight. Plot twist!

I didn’t, for the record.

Aside from some minor stuff that’s way more preferred to the stuff I’ve had to deal with regarding these Mexican dudes, I don’t have any problems with them. As a matter of fact, I was irritated at his accusation but I wanted to explain my situation to them and let them know I wasn’t recording them and didn’t report them to anyone. So I stepped outside to explain myself after I heard him very loudly accusing me to the police.

And, definitely not for the first time in my life, a Black man raised his voice at me and disrespected me in front of the police for no other reason than I am a Black woman.

I tried several times to explain the situation to him and assure him I wasn’t recording him or anyone in his apartment but he kept raising his voice, refusing to listen, and was like

You a church woman, you a church woman! Naw, naw! I ain’t gone say nothing to you

Then he went back inside rather than listen to me. The thing is, this guy is always very friendly to my mother, who is darker than me and has long locs. But I guess because I’m a “light-skinned bitch” I must be up to something.

I am not a “church woman” either, by the way. If he had bothered to ask about the recordings and pictures and about me rather making ridiculous assumptions, he would’ve known that.

The police asked if I’d called them and told me that they got a report from someone that they’d heard yelling and arguing between a man and woman from these people’s apartments. I didn’t hear anything and told them I wasn’t the one who called.

The police officers had also tried, very weakly, to get the Black guy to listen to me, but, as I said, he left anyway. So I instead turned and explained the situation to the police, who, for some reason, pretty much said A) I was inept at recording and should be more discreet or not do it at all, as if I’d gotten caught by the people I was really recording, and B) that people in cheap working class apartment complexes with thin walls like me should just deal with the noisiness and disrespect as opposed to reporting it so something can hopefully be done about it.

I called the police department and left a comment for their superior officer about their shitty handling of the situation.

All I want is some regular peace and quiet and to be able to sleep through the night. That’s it. This helps me feel like I’m doing something to care for myself and peace of mind, even if no one does anything about it.

Let’s chalk up another disappointment in and failure of Black men and the police. Its a recurring pattern, people.